Bombers knock off MLB All-Stars for title

John Sommers II/Special to The Herald via the Louisville Courier-Journal
The Dubois County Bombers celebrated with the Bluegrass World Series championship trophy after defeating the Louisville Stars, a team full of ex-MLB All-Stars and veterans, 6-4 on Saturday night at Louisville Slugger Field. Nolan Ramsey, who had seven RBIs in four tournament games, was named the Bluegrass World Series tourney MVP.

From Herald Staff Reports

Every baseball player dreams of being able to play against some of their childhood heroes but defeating those same guys in a championship game? Well, that’s just icing on the cake.

The Dubois County Bombers defeated the Louisville Stars, a team composed of ex-MLB All-Stars and veterans, 6-4 in the championship game of the inaugural Bluegrass World Series in Louisville at Slugger Field.

“You know, before big games you get nervous sometimes but this was a different kind of nervous,” said starting outfielder Evan Aders. “It was just weird because these are guys we used to watch on TV but we just took the approach like we had nothing to lose and really, we didn’t have anything to lose.”

The Bombers got the scoring started right away in the first inning as John McDonald drove in Evan Kahre on an RBI double but the Stars answered back in the bottom half of the inning as Corky Miller drove in a run courtesy of an RBI hit by pitch.

Louisville took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third when J.D. Drew drove in Jayson Werth courtesy of an RBI double to make it 2-1 Stars. But as we’ve seen time and time again, the Bombers wouldn’t give up easily as Nolan Ramsey drove in Kahre and Ben Wilcoxson on a two-RBI double to make it 3-2 Bombers.

“Adam LaRoche told me I had a nice swing so that was pretty cool,” Ramsey said with a laugh.

The Stars would once again even things up in the bottom of the fifth when catcher John Buck drove in J.D. Drew via a triple but the bat of John McDonald proved deadly once again as he drove in Sam Mudd and Wilcoxson on a two-RBI single to make it 5-3. It would quickly become 6-3 after Gavin Napier’s sacrifice fly a few plays later.

The Stars would threaten a few more times in the game — Adam LaRoche hit a home run in the seventh to make it 6-4 and Drew and Miller both got on base after the solo shot to make things interesting but Buck grounded into a double play, courtesy of a great defensive play from McDonald, Cooper Trinkle and Jake Lewis.

After that, the Stars wouldn’t threaten too much as coach (and former Bomber player) Caleb Wagner closed the game down in the ninth to seal the Bombers championship victory.

Nolan Ramsey was named the tournament MVP after going 6-15 in the series with 7 RBIs, two doubles and a home run.

“I was just happy that we won the ball game and when they announced that I got the MVP that was just a cherry on top,” Ramsey said. “It’s a great way to go out for sure.”

The Bombers were grateful to interact with their major league opponents before, during and after the championship game on Saturday night.

Head coach Andy Lasher loved being able to talk with Rick Ankiel, a former St. Louis Cardinal who played as both an outfielder and a pitcher, since he grew up a Cardinals fan while Ramsey got to talk with catcher John Buck about his workout routine.

“That guy was massive, you walk up to him and shake his hand his forearms are just ridiculous,” Ramsey said with a laugh. “I asked him how much he bench pressed and he said he doesn’t, he just does back workouts. And I was like ‘Alright, well I need that workout plan.’”

While the Bombers were disappointed they didn’t reach the Ohio Valley League championship this summer, their spirits changed rather quickly after turning things around and knocking off a super team for the Bluegrass World Series championship title.

“I was talking to (pitcher) Jaxson (Blair) who was here last year when we won and I asked him after the game, ‘Blair is this better than last year? I can’t really decide’ and he said ‘Oh, no doubt’,” Lasher said. “I’ll tell more people about this than winning the regular season title, for sure.”

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